Former Googlers who run their own tech startup ask candidates 3 questions that seem to have nothing to do with the job

Courtesy of BeeswaxBeeswax’s founders, from left, Shamim Samadi, Ari Paparo, and Ram Rengaswamy.
  • Questions during a job interview don’t always have to do with the job itself.
  • At Beeswax, an ad-tech startup in New York, potential hires are often grilled on the last thing they “geeked out” over and where friends and family would consider them an expert.
  • The questions are used to assess a potential hire’s curiosity, one of the company’s four core values.

Smart hiring managers know to ask all the right questions during job interviews.

Sometimes that means asking questions that seemingly have nothing to do with the job itself.

At Beeswax, an ad-tech startup in New York run by three former Googlers, no job interview is complete without a few questions that dive into the personal interests of potential hires.

One of the most notable questions, the company’s founders Shamim Samadi, Ari Paparo, and Ram Rengaswamy told Business Insider, goes as follows: “If I asked your friends and family, what would they say you are their go-to guru for?”

Another one asks, “What was the last thing you geeked out over?”

A third: “Tell me something you have taught yourself and how you went about it.”

Read more:
9 puzzling interview questions from real execs that seem to have nothing to do with the job

The questions, while not as extreme as ones that ask what you want written on your tombstone or what you would do during a zombie apocalypse, help Beeswax measure the curiosity of potential hires. “Be curious” is one of Beeswax’s four core values, the founders said, along with “be open,” “be customer-driven,” and “be effective.”

“We realise that those are the values that we think are necessary for someone to be successful here,” Samadi, Beeswax’s chief product officer, told Business Insider. “Like, I haven’t stopped working, making decisions, being open, being a learner. And it’s equally important to evaluate people on their functional skills as well as their values.”

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